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Can we sue for libel or slander?

Harrisburg, PA |

Recently my husband was given the option of being terminated or to resign. He chose resignation. With changes in his working environment we were not surprised by this. However, it has come to light that there was another reason as well. One of my husbands employees lied to new senior management about my husband's and another staffer's work intentions. The lie is one that not only affected the position my husband had, but may make it impossible for him to obtain work in his current field. Also, what proof do we need to have of this lie?

Attorney Answers 3


You need to know the exact statements that were made, as well as who they were told to.

You should speak with a Personal Injury Attorney immediately.

Here are the basics on Defamation:

Defamation is a false statement of fact against an individual’s character or reputation, either intentionally or negligently published to a third person, holding the defamed person up to ridicule, contempt, hatred, shame, or disgrace. There are two types of defamation: Slander and Libel. Slander is an untrue spoken statement about a person that harms their reputation and standing in their community. A person injured by slander can bring a civil lawsuit against the party that made the false statement.

Where a person is defamed in writing, it is called libel. Libel also includes television broadcasts. In many ways libel is more serious because it is more likely to reach a far greater audience. In New York a libeled person’s damages are presumed because the defamatory statement is preserved for a greater period of time.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations for defamation is different in each state. A statute of limitations is the time that a civil or criminal action must be brought forward. The limitations period begins when a defamatory statement is communicated to someone other than the plaintiff. For instance, in New York, New Jersey, and California the statute of limitations is one year. However, in Washington and Indiana it is two years. Because the time to bring an action defamation is shorter than a negligence action, it is imperative that a person who believes they have been defamed speak with an attorney immediately.

I assisted my brother in writing several articles on this topic. Two of them are listed below:

I wish you the best of luck.

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Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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If false statements of fact were made, as opposed to merely opinion, he can pursue a defamation case against person. Contact a defamation lawyer in Harrisburg for a free consultation.

Click on the name or picture of the lawyer answering your question to see their profile, and then you can click the view website tab to find out detailed information on your personal injury topic. The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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To make a claim for libel or slander, your husband would have to prove, among other things, that a false factual statement was made. Many people mistakenly believe that all false statements can be made the basis of a slander claim. "False" opinions, if such a thing even exists, cannot for the basis of a slander claim. So, for example, if the statement published to the senior management was something like, "I believe John is looking for another job," the person making the statement might raise the defense that the statement was merely one of opinion. The strength of the claim is highly dependent on the facts in your particular case. I wish you the best of luck.

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